2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix FP3 report and highlights: Verstappen fastest again to sweep every practice session before qualifying in Jeddah | ®
Max Verstappen set the fastest time in FP3 to lead his Red Bull team mate Sergio Perez by over six tenths of a second – and the rest of the field by nearly a second – as the championship leader swept all three practice sessions before qualifying in Saudi Arabia.
Verstappen, who led FP1 and FP2 on Friday, followed that up with another table-topping performance on Saturday afternoon, having equipped softs to set a lap of 1m 28.485s. The Dutchman improved steadily throughout the session with the track gripping up from spent tyre rubber, and temperatures decreasing towards sunset.
DATA POINTS: What we learned from Friday practice in Saudi Arabia
Perez ended up 0.613s off the pace in P2, while Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso was third on the board – albeit 0.998s off the pace of Verstappen. He was the last driver within a second of the Dutchman, as Lance Stroll was 1.024s off the pace in P4.
Lewis Hamilton rounded out the top five for Mercedes, while his team mate George Russell took P11.
As for Ferrari, they left it late to set representative qualifying runs on soft tyres, with Charles Leclerc jumping to sixth overall and Carlos Sainz rounding out the top 10. Leclerc however has a 10-place grid penalty to contend with.